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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  July 1, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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tonight on "world news," the bombshell twist. this evening, the man who wanted to be president of france, accused in that sexual attack here, a free man for now. dominique strauss-kahn celebrating his release, after a harsh new spotlight on that hotel maid. what's been discovered? the drawning drama. how did a woman lie dead at the bottom of a public pool, swimmers in the water above her for days? how was she messed? and three things every family should look for in a life guard. pack your bags. the stunned families told their state parks are shut down, just days before the fourth. it's happening across the country. >> pa raids and politics? could that trip with your children this weekend really determine which party they vote for when they grow up? and, the holiday gift. >> audrey, logan. >> the giant green box and the
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moment you have to see to believe. our "persons of the week." good evening. diane is on assignment this week. and we begin tonight here with a stunning turn of events in that sexual assault case that sent shockwaves, from a new york city hotel room all the way to france. just two months ago, this image. dominique strauss-kahn, the international money man, and front-runner to be president of france, hand cupped and sent to jail, accused of attacking a hotel maid. today,y,his image. strauss-kahn walking out of court, smiling, a free man, for now. his wife there at his side. all of it because of new and serious questions about that hotel worker. abc's bianna golodryga leads us off this evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. it's a stunning reversalle of fortune for strauss-kahn.
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abc news can confirm he is inside this townhouse he's renting. a bit ironic, it's been two months since he's allowed to travel at all. now he can, as long as he stays in the u.s. >> thank you, your honor. >> reporter: after thanking the judge, dominique strauss-kahn left court today with his arm around his wife's shoulder, released on his own recognizance. it's been nearly two months since the former imf chief was taken off a paris-bound flight, after being accused of sexually assaululng a hotel maid. the surprising turn of events came after prosecutors acknowledged serious questions about the credibility of the ape accuser. >> all of this has caused us to reassess the position about the strength of the case. >> reporter: among the information -- financial and phone records revealing possible ties between the alleged victim and an alleged drug dealer. involvement in criminal activity, including money laundering. and that she was caught on wiretaps considering possible financial gain from pressing charges against strauss-kahn. and perhaps the most damaging revelation? reports that the accuser had
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lied to investigators about a prior sexual attack in her native country of guinea while she was seeking asylum in the u.s. >> today is a first giant step in the right direction. the next step will lead to a complete dismissal of the charges. >> reporter: the accuser's attorney spoke out in support of his client, and lashed out at the district attorney. >> the district attorney has an obligation to stand up for this rape victim. >> reporter: there is dna evidence proving that a sexual encounter did take place. witnesses claim that the accuser emerged from the room in distress, with her clothing ripped. still, experts say that the damage done to the prosecution's case is almost certainly irreparable. though, the district attorney has not yet thrown in the towel. >> our prosecutors will continue. their investigation into these alleged crimes and will do so
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until we uncover all the rell rant facts. >> reporter: the accuser's attorney says she is upset. >> all right, bianna, thank you. i want to bring in dan abrams with us here tonight. always great to see you. so, sexual attack or not, do you believe prosecutors are going to drop this case? >> reporter: based on the three-page note they sent to the defense attorney, i think they're going to have to. they a a also saying she lied about what happened immediately after the incident occurred, both to the d.a. and to a grand jury. they end this note by saying, during the course of this investigation, she was untruthful with assistant district attorney about a variety of additional topics concerning her history, background, present circumstances and personal relationships. >> the man who wanted to be president of france could be headed back within weeks? >> reporter: weeks or months. that doesn't mean the legal issues are over. expect she could file a civil lawsuit, even if the charges were opped. and if prosecutors believe she
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invented this she could face legal problems, too. dan, thank you. puzzling authorities in new england for days now. a woman's bodice covered in a public pool outside boston. swimmers had been swimming above her for nearly three days. life guards never noticed. how is this possible? abc's linsey davis is in fall river, massachusetts, tonight. >> reporter: good evening, david. this is what we've been waiting for. the autopsy report. and it confirms what many people thought was too horrible to be true. it confirms there was a drowning. meaning, there was a body in this pool for almost three days. police are investigating how no one noticed 36-year-old marie joseph, this mother of five, who had the words "family" and "first" tattooed on her wrists, could have drowned on sunday afternoon and then gone undetected for more than two days. unnoticed by swimmers, lifeguards and health inspectors, her body still in the water as this photo was taken on monday.
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unnoticed even as the pool shut down every night at 7:00. the neighbor's 9-year-old son says he told the lifeguard that when she went down the slide, she never came back up. he says when he told the lifeguard, no one looked for her. there her body lay for three days. city health inspectors were at the pool on two different days testing the water. they even gave it a clean bill of health, except that it looked cloudy. >> there was nothing abnormal with the p.h. levels. only one word noted. cloudy. >> reporter: as everyone wonders today how this is popoible, the forensic scientist says there is nothing unusual about a drowned body first sinking and rising to the surface days later. and it's happened before. >> on a sunny day, you can have a lot of sunlight rays off the surface of the water. you throw in some cloudy water, the next thing you know, you can't see too far into that water itself. >> reporter: watch what happens when a dummy sinks to the bottom of this pool. when the water is clear, you can see it. but when the water is age
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stated, it becomes nearly impossible to see the dummy. >> we do see this as a problem nationwide, that a lot of pools that should be closed because of the cloudiness, they should get them closed for safety reasons. >> reporter: so, as millions head to the pool this holiday weekend, safeguard your family by looking for these signs. two guards taking regular breaks who are constantly looking around. and not using a phone. and one final tip. we heard so much about murky water if you happen to be in a pool and you can't see the bottom of it, get out and ask the lifeguard why it's not clear. david? >> linsey davis on a puzzling case outside boston. thank you. we're going to turn now to the searing heat this evening across the country. millions of americans are dealing with intense heat and severe storms. look at the center of this nation. temperatures in the 90s and surpassing the 100 mark. this system is on the move, and we want to turn to meteorologist bernie rano in the weather
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center tonight. you told me this is going to be a real scorcher this weekend. >> yeah, temperatures are high enough in the plains states, but when you factor in the high humidity, it feels over 100 degrees. and that will be sliding into the midwest on saturday, and get ready, along the eastern seaboard, david, because the heat and humidity, though not as hot, certainly the humidity will arrive by sunday. >> and bernie, you say with it, severe weather? >> any time you get heat and humidity, you have to be concerned about thunderstorms, and that's what we're going to be seeing across the midwest on saturday out ahead of a cool front that will bring some relief to the heat in the northern plains. that front hes toward the i-95 corridor, new york city, philadelphia, washington, d.c., as he head into late sunday and independence day. >> bernie, thank you. we learned today of something happens to american families preparing to spend this fourth of july in state parks. told to pack up their things and go home. state parks closing for business in minnesota.
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abc's david wright tonight on the parks and the families being sent home. >> reporter: the great champion of state parks said between every two trees is the doorway to a new world. but today in minnesota, the last came persons in state parks were kicked out, so they won't be trapped in when rangers put the padlocks on. due to a state government shutdown, all 74 of the state's parks and reconsideration areat are closed. the hansen family had planned to spend the fourth of july weekend enjoying the great outdoors. >> it is pretty discouraging that the only reason we're not camping at a beautiful state couldn't do their part to keep it going. >> reporter: minnesota isn't alone. in washington state, starting today, park visitors for the first time need to pay a $10 entry fee, or risk a $1010fine. in california this week, lawmakers passed a state budget
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that'll force dozens of state parks to close. indefinitely. >> yeah. 70 parks of the 278 that are currently active and open. >> reporter: that's 1 out of 4. >> it is. first time in 100 years that california parks have really closed. >> reporter: parks are expensive. and cash-strapped state governments say they can no longer afford to maintain open spaces that took decades, even centuries, to protect. >> the crisis for funding our nation's state parks is realnd it's happening right now. >> reporter: ironically, this happening at a time when the attendance rate is up, 740 million visitors to state parks last year. but david, before you held out to the great outdoors this weekend, best make sure that the place is actually going to be open. this park is one of thth ones o california's closure list. >> david wright tonight, thank you. we turn to afghanistan, where we are getting our first look tonight at grizzly new images from inside that luxury hotel in kabul, swarmed by
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suicide bombers who went on that deadly attack. in an abc news exclusive, nick schifrin tonight takes us inside. >> reporter: abc news filmed the first images from inside the intercontinental. the attackers blew themselves up in bedrooms, in stairwells, in the hallway. the top floor, completely destroyed by fire. on the roof, a massive firefight. the attackers brought bags full of red bull and water so they could fight for hours. for the first time, a senior afghan police official admitted to abc news that his men wouldn't have retaken the hotel without the help of these nato special forces. later this month, afghan forces are supposed to take responsibility for security in parts of the country. but their response to this attack raises questions about whether they're ready. nick schifrin, abc news, kabul. >> nick, our thanks to you. and it's those images that
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haha authorities on high alert this fourth. combine that with documents found inside osama bin laden's compound, revealing his desire to kill on the fourth. and that explains why there's a wide reaching, behind the scenes effort to protect americans this holiday. abc's pierre thomas, the only one getting a first-hand look tonight. >> reporter: helicopters on patrol. nypd gun boats shadowing ferries and even checking under the brooklyn bridge. it's real. this is not a joke. >> absolutely not a joke. the threat is very real. >> reporter: we're out on the water with the nypd. but this is no cruise. and this is no ordinary boat. patrol is all part of unprecedented security for independence day. this year, police are especially concerned because of evidence from osama bin laden's compound revealing his desire to kill americans on the fourth, or by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. >> we're on alert. no question about it. this year is a critical year, because everything is kind of marked by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. >> we all know that the fourth
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of july is a signature holiday. >> reporter: revelers can expect expanded patrols. s.w.a.t. units. biological weapons response teams at the ready. and undercover officers mingling with the crowd. and with that attack this weekend on aftghanistan hotel, police are boosting patrols in hotels, too. >> police officers at hotel locations throughout the city. >> reporter: if it all sounds scary, it is. the boat we are on is one of two in the world designed for the nypd to detect radiation from a nuclear bomb or smaller raid logical or dirty bomb. its detection equipment sweeps along the waterway. anyadiation spikes returned to the boat are sent to a laboratory for analysis. hunting for the ununinkable, as we approach america's birthday. peer yeah thomas, abc news, new york. and still much more ahead on "world news" this friday night. the new royals, and the woman so
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determined to give william's great-grandmother flowers. 72 years later, will she get her chance? if you are taking to your children to a parade this weekend, will it determine the party they vote for years later? and later, what is the behind that first pitch, behind this diploma here, and inside this giant gift? you're not going to believe our kwft persons of the week." . [ female announcer ] have you met your skin twin? covergirl trublend has skin twin technology. other makeup can sit on your skin, so it looks but trublend has skin twin technology
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have played for the queen. estimates are that 300,000 people came to the canada day celebration, sprinting just to get close. some fainted in the heat and were wheeled away. she talked to the duchess? >> yeah. she married a prince. it's every girl's dream, right? >> reporter: you're next? >> i wish. harry's available. >> reporter: william greeted the crowd in french. and introduced his new wife, catherine, who learned about canada as a child from her grandfather. >> who held this country dear to his heart. he trained as a young pilot during the second world war. >> reporter: the duchess embraced canada day, wearing a red maple leaf hat. the diamond maple leaf brooch, on loan from the queen, a pin she wore to canada in 1951. back in 1939, the queen's parents, king george vi and the
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queen toured the country by train. they were supposed to stop where frances was waiting with a bouquet of flowers. >> it was something i was really looking forward to. >> reporter: but for reasons unknown, the train never stopped, leaving behind a very disappointed 9-year-old girl. now, 72 years later, frances is gettinina second chance. next week in calgary, she will present flowers to king george's great-grandson, prince william. >> it's like a dream. >> reporter: now, you should know that they are actually going to be flying to calgary this time so they don't take that risk again. not going to take the train, going to take a plane. and you should know that the journalists that have been covering this for decades, they have never seen people so excited as they were today. >> and good for frances waiting all this time. bob, thank you. and when we come back tonight a question for you. will that parade this weekend determine which part y your chid
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they boost a likelihood that the kids watching will become republicans. yes, republicans. >> bull. bull. >> reporter: researchers from harvard claim that every year a child goes to a fourth of july parade, it raises the likely hoot by 2% that they'll become a republican. >> they may already be republican. >> reporter: but not everyone is ready to hand the holiday over. >> do not tell me that is conservative holiday. do not tell me they are the only people who love america. it's not true. it's not true. >> reporter: after all, the parade in her hometown, boston, one of the oldest in the country, hasn't exactly turned the political tide there. that city hasn't elected a republican mayor since 1926. most people adamant today the fourth is a birthday party. not a political one. sharyn alfonsi, abc news new york. >> let us know what you think. when we come back tonight, the little kids, the giant gift. this, you will not forget.
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fighting right now, and the families waiting for them to come home. they are the men and women who we celebrate, who we thank, who we honor, on the fourth. they're also t t loved ones so many families wait for, hoping they'll come home soon. for erika brown, chosen to throw out the first pitch, her wait was about to be over. she thought it was the pitch eve everyone was fixated on. but behind that mask, the catcher was her boyfriend. returning from overseas. picking out a ring, and asking, "will you marry me?" it was the best play of the game. and then, this marine that waited patiently at the hospital door, driving more than 2,000 miles from california to massachusetts to see his ailing father. around the curtain, first a military hand shake, then a proud father's tears. then this. keep a close eye on this senior,
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in california, about to receive her degree. she had been told her brother couldn't make it back from afghanistan in time. >> jessica's father called me. jessica has a brother in afghanistan that she wishes could be here today. and jessica, would you see your brother? thank you for your service. >> reporter: brother and sister honored this fourth. >> audrey, logan. >> oh, my lord. >> reporter: and there was this. the giant box wrapped in neon green. a gift, bigger than you think. >> it's a grill! >> what? open it up. what's in there? >> repepter: out of the box, staff sergeant jeremy halton. better yet -- dad. fighting through her tiny tears, audrey with a simple message.
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"i'm happy you're back," she says. >> we've been separated for three fourth of julys since we've been married. you don't realize how important those kind of holidays are until you're not with your loved one to b bable to celebrate them. >> reporter: and so we choose all of the troops on this fourth. for diane and all of us here, have a good evening, a safee an happy holiday. i'll see you tomorrow. good night.
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